A hunter from New York recently harvested one of the rarest and most unique animals you will ever see. The albino pronghorn antelope is as white as snow from head to toe and even has translucent-looking horns. Though hunting incredibly distinguished animals like this tend to be controversial, it’s worth noting first and foremost that shooting this antelope was well within all hunting rules and regulations in the state of Wyoming. The hunt happened back in the fall, but MeatEater has the all-new full story.
17-year-old Tristian Olsen from Forestville, New York was hunting on private land in Johnson County Wyoming when she spotted an antelope that seemed to be a little brighter than the others she had seen. She was hunting with her father Gary and family friend Ryan Smith. Traveling out West to hunt big games has become an annual tradition for Tristian and her dad. Though all of the hunting trips are memorable, a potential shot at such a rare animal made this adventure even more special than usual.
An animal’s genetic makeup is what causes them to turn out all white. Albinism also tends to come with poor eyesight in animals. The combination of poor eyesight and a lack of camouflage makes for easy prey. Since most albino antelope don’t live very long, it’s tough to determine just how rare of an occurrence it is for the species.
17-Year-Old Girl Hunts Rare All-White Antelope
For as long as she can remember, Tristian said she’s been hunting with her dad. Together they hunt whitetail, turkey, waterfowl, and coyotes and fish a lot back home in New York. They also travel out west as much as possible to hunt antelope and mule deer. “My dad is a very inspirational man to me,” she said. “I’d spend hours with him, and it was always me and him.”
The father-daughter duo had previously spent a lot of time scouting the property, so when the hunt kicked off in October, confidence was high. “I feel like I’ve gained a lot of knowledge the past couple of years going out there, so I definitely have learned how to hunt antelope,” she said. “But it’s always hard with Wyoming because the land is so vast, and there are always new elements.”
The hunt was a little different this year though. Because of a recent medical diagnosis, her father actually wasn’t able to accompany Tristian into the field. “It was pretty hard because he was always there with me on hunts, and this year, he couldn’t be.”
As she started her first antelope hunt of the season, Tristian quickly spotted the all-white antelope and knew it was special. “It was in a herd of about 20. While this was my first encounter with the albino, I wasn’t sure if the landowner wanted me to harvest this animal,” she said.
After confirming with the landowner that it was ok to shoot the albino antelope, the hunt was back on. “I couldn’t stop thinking of that white albino that I was just able to get a glimpse of. So I made sure it was okay to harvest from the landowner. At that point, I knew that was the antelope I wanted, no matter how hard it was.”
After A Few Tough Hunts, She Makes The Shot Count
She returned to the same spot the following day but reportedly spooked the antelope away before getting a shot. The third time was the charm though, as the returned again the following day with her dad using a spotting scope from the truck to watch the hunt. Her patience paid off, she remained calm even with her adrenaline pumping and made a perfect shot with her 6.5 Creedmore rifle.
I always get emotional after I shoot an animal, but I was really happy, and the animal was just beautiful, and it was a big respect thing,” she said. The antelope turned out to be a yearling male. “It was astonishing. The hooves were translucent, and it was just insane; it was fully white,” she said.